Your child’s readiness for potty training is based on your child’s development in the following four areas:
- Physiological Development
- Motor Skills or Physical Readiness
- Cognitive and Verbal development
- Emotional Growth and Social Awareness
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children’s elimination muscles (their sphinter muscles) mature somewhere between the age of 12-24 months, with the average being 12 months.
So, how can you tell if your child’s muscles have mature and that your child is physiologically ready?
- Is your child aware of the elimination process? Does you child realize that he is about to go potty?
- Has your child stopped having bowel movement through the night?
- Does you have a fairly regular bowel movement schedule?
- Does your wake up dry?
- From Naps?
- From night sleep?
- Does your child urinate a lot at one time? (vs a little bit through out the day?
If you answered yes to all these questions, then you child is physiologically ready.
The goal of potty training in one day is independent toileting – which means that your child should be able to go potty when he feel he needs to go potty. He should be able to get himself to the potty or toilet, remove his underpants and sit on the potty.
Here are some question to help you decide if your child is physically ready or has the motor skills required:
- Has your child mastered walking and running?
- Is your child able to undress and dress himself or herself? Is your child able to pull down and pull up his / her underpants?
- Do you think your child has the motor skills required for toilet training?
If you answered yes to the questions above, then your child is physically read – or has the required motor skills for potty training!
If you look at the process of going potty from a child’s perspective, it is a complex set of physical and cognitive tasks that all have to be executed in perfect synchronicity, for your child to potty successfully and to avoid an accident.
Here are some questions to help you decide if your child has the cognitive and verbal skills required for potty training:
- Can you child imitate behaviour?
- Does your child understand the vocabulary required for potty training? (Words such as pee pee, poo poo, wet, dry, underpants – use words that work for you and your family)
- Is your child able to follow your instructions? (Such as put your toy & other articles away where they belong)
- Does you child have the ability for symbolic thought, planning, problem solving and memory?
If you answered yes to these questions, then your child has the cognitive and verbal skills necessary to get started with potty training!
Emotionally, toddler go through phases where they are very positive – "I can do it" and all grown up "I am big girl or boy now". They also become socially aware and want to be like others i.e. like an older sibling or like dad or mom. They also have a strong desire for parental approval.
Here are some questions that will help you determine if your child is emotionally ready and has the social awarenss required for potty training:
- Does your child say "I can do it" or "I am a big boy or girl now?"
- Does your child look for or seek your approval?
- Does your desire to be like others around him or her?
- Does your child imitate behaviour?
If you answered yes to these questions, than you child is emotionally ready and has the social awareness required to potty independenlty!
If you answered no to some of these questions, then consider how you can get your child there before you get started. Positon your child and yourself for success!
It will make potty training a much more rewarding and memorable experience for both you and your child!